[US] The first wave of COVID-19 workplace lawsuits has begun

05 AUG 2020

Major employers across the US are dealing with a wave of lawsuits filed by workers claiming they contracted COVID-19 due to their employer's negligence. The cases have provoked debate over whether Congress should let business have liability protections during the pandemic. It is reportedly rarely for employers to be found liable for employee deaths in the workplace because of the high legal bar for finding fault and because states frequently limit complaints to employee compensation systems.

However, legal experts believe the COVID-19 pandemic in the US could reverse that trend because this first wave of liability lawsuits filed against employers focus on whether employers followed state and federal guidelines for combatting the virus' spread, like the use of face masks and following social distancing. These experts say employers that failed to adhere to the guidance could potentially be found liable in court if their employees fall ill with the novel coronavirus. Advisory Board examines the lawsuits and the debate they have sparked.


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